Archives – February, 2017

UK farmers apply for emergency use of neonicotinoids to protect rapeseed crop

From: AgroNews

The UK National Farmers Union (NFU)recently announced that it has applied for emergency use of neonicotinoid seed treatments to alleviate insect pest pressure on a proportion of the English oilseed rape crop.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: This application recognises that, because of the neonicotinoid restrictions, pest numbers have increased in recent years to such an extent that there are now areas of the country where these seed treatments are less likely to be of benefit – areas where the pest pressure is so high that the risk of losing oilseed rape is too great and control with pyrethroids is compromised by increased pesticide resistance.

Leave a Comment February 13, 2017

Health Canada’s proposed neonic ban goes too far says environmental scientist

From: Farmers Forum

By Connor Lynch

GUELPH — Health Canada is throwing the baby out with the bathwater with its proposed neonicotinoid ban, said University of Guelph environmental scientist Paul Sibley. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency has proposed phasing out agricultural use of imidacloprid, the least used neonic in Canada, over three to five years.

Sibley took some heat for his comments in the Western Producer that the decision had more to do with politics than science. But he stands by that position, he told Farmers Forum. “I can’t not draw the conclusion that it’s at least in part politically motivated.”

Leave a Comment February 10, 2017

Scientists’ Duplicity And Conflicts Of Interest Distort Regulation And Harm Farmers

Editor’s Note: For more on this story, see here.

From: Forbes

Scientists prostituting themselves by delivering “bespoke” scientific findings for their corporate sponsors and corrupting the scientific literature is a favorite trope of environmental and anti-industry activists. They rail against undisclosed conflicts of interest that, were they known, should exclude the individuals–and their technical expertise–from regulatory studies and deliberations, thus leaving the activists’ specious views largely unopposed.

Leave a Comment February 8, 2017

USDA Scientists: The Keystone of American Agriculture

From: The Atlantic

Bumblebees Are Dying Out Because They’re Too Fat to Mate

Scientists are working hard to slim them down.

J. Weston Phippen


Some of the most insightful research into the parasite is done in northern Utah, in the lab of James Strange, a research entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Lately, Strange has studied a close relative of the rusty-patched bumblebee, the Western bumblebee, rearing colonies in his lab, exhausting himself to get them healthy, then infecting them with a parasite that bloats male bees until they’re impotent.

Leave a Comment February 7, 2017

Young beekeeper ‘busts his arse’ to get where he is today


Malcolm sees a “massive need” for good genetics in the industry – for resistance to the varroa mite and to produce high performing queen bees.


“We have another evaluation programme where we take 50 high-performance hives out of the field and monitor them for two or three years. We measure for temperament, hygiene, egg-laying capacity, varroa tolerance and honey production. The data is measured and compared – hives are played off against each other.”

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Leave a Comment February 6, 2017

The Myth of the Bee-pocalypse

From: The Ferguson Forum


But here’s something you probably haven’t heard: there are more honeybee colonies in the United States today than there were when colony collapse disorder began in 2006. In fact, according to data released in March by the Department of Agriculture, U.S. honeybee-colony numbers are now at a 20-year high. And those colonies are producing plenty of honey: U.S. honey production is also at a 10-year high.


Leave a Comment February 3, 2017

Another sting in the tail for bees: Devastating wing-deforming virus could DESTROY the species

From: Daily Mail


  • The deformed wing virus is a global virus that kills off bees 
  • Belgian scientists used mini-tracking devices to study the pathogen
  • Nearly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of crops depend on bee pollination

By Phoebe Weston


Now a wing-deforming virus is shortening the lifespan of wild honeybees already contending with a startlingly long list of existential threats.

Spread by microscopic mites, the microbe disrupts bees’ foraging and curtails their lives, experiments confirmed for the first time.

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Leave a Comment February 2, 2017

Major research development to help honey bees

From: Wisconsin State Farmer

St. Louis — A new honey bee testing service announced this week will allow beekeepers to more effectively identify and address diseases plaguing bee colonies, according to the National Agricultural Genotyping Center (NAGC).


“It’s the first time we have a panel of the most common honey bee diseases in North America all in one test,” said Pete Snyder, president and CEO of the NAGC. “So we can diagnose problems, get results in 30 days and allow beekeepers to pursue the right treatment.”

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Leave a Comment February 1, 2017

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